Look for two hunting tips I wrote a while back - one tells how to make a buck lure using apples, ammonia and human urine (gross, I know) that I have used in the past with pretty good success.
I have a buddy who flat stacks the big bucks in on his mock scrapes using this recipe.... he uses trail cams and captures some great images of bucks visiting and working his creations...
I do not use trail cams - I have been afraid of them - but am beginning to wonder if I should not start... so I have not captured what has visited mine... I just see that they have been worked when I get back to them.
The second tip revolves around using the tarsal glands off of dead bucks (obviously) and making a brew with these glands and warm water.
I used 4 glands and about a quart of water in Illinois, using the brew as boot cover scent and mock scrape scent.
I will check the mock scrapes in Ilinois later this week and report back.
I made two more as I was leaving to come home yesterday so I have 5 to check on when I get back.
I think I can try the second one, but the first one is too gross for me. I can stick my hands inside a dead animal and remove its internal organs and not flinch one bit, but I am not going to use a lure that has human urine....just too gross for my delicate sensitivities.
Can you cut off the tarsal glands and freeze them for the next year?
It sounds gross but it really is not... with folks paying high dollar for lures these days - and there is one that you can almost make for free and have a gallon of it - I can rise above any damage to my sensitive nature!!
Yes, you can freeze the tarsals - I had these frozen for a week or so before I used them.
I think one of the keys is gathering them during the peak of the rut when they are dark, very stinky and likely very attractive to other bucks - and maybe even to does that are in or are nearing estrous.
That is why going to the processor and asking for permission to remove them from the bucks that were slain that day may be the most effective means of getting the supply you will either want or need for this year and if frozen - maybe even for next year.
As always, every dollar is important and when you make this lure - you KNOW what is in it... that is not necessarily true when you buy!
Just as follow up - I was able to check the mock scrapes I made here in Illinois and the results - at least right now - are average, at best.
This is tempered by the fact that the regular non man made scrapes are not really being hit now - my assumption is that the bucks are out chasing the does and do not have time (or the need) to work scrapes right now...
Two have slight hoof marks in them and one is raked up pretty well.
What's odd is that the one that is hit the hardest has no licking branch - they tore the branch off right after I made the scrape...
I am going to make some late season scrapes back home in SC and see if the bucks will respond - I will start a new thread on that if I run into any success.
As a Taxidermist I look at hundreds of Whitetail Bucks every year. I know that I have seen many different ways people judge the size of racks on live deer. I think for the most part they all are pretty close. I'm going to give you some measurements that I have noticed being right on in just about every deer. We have used it in the last couple years and have only been off by about 5-6 inches. We do study the deer while bowhunting so we get a little more time to look at them....